Fitbit Heart Monitors 'Highly Inaccurate,' Study Says

Share this content:
Fitbit Heart Monitors 'Highly Inaccurate,' Study Says
Fitbit Heart Monitors 'Highly Inaccurate,' Study Says

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fitbit heart rate trackers are "highly inaccurate," according to a new study commissioned by the law firm Lieff Cabraser, which is handling a class action suit targeting three Fitbit models that use the PurePulse heart monitor: Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Charge HR, and Fitbit Surge.

The heart rates of 43 healthy adults were checked during rest and exercise using Fitbit's PurePulse heart rate monitors. Their heart rates were then checked with a BioHarness device that produced an electrocardiogram, CNBC reported. The results showed that the Fitbit monitors miscalculated heart rates by up to 20 beats a minute during more intensive exercise, the researchers at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona found.

A Fitbit statement posted by Gizmodo challenged the findings: "What the plaintiffs' attorneys call a 'study' is biased, baseless, and nothing more than an attempt to extract a payout from Fitbit. It lacks scientific rigor and is the product of flawed methodology," according to the statement, CNBC reported. "It was paid for by plaintiffs' lawyers who are suing Fitbit, and was conducted with a consumer-grade electrocardiogram -- not a true clinical device, as implied by the plaintiffs' lawyers. Furthermore, there is no evidence the device used in the purported 'study' was tested for accuracy."

Earlier this year, a separate study by Ball State University in Indiana and NBC-affiliated TV station WTHR found that the Fitbit Charge HR had an average heart rate error rate of 14 percent, CNBC reported. "Calculating a heart rate that's off by 20 or 30 beats per minute can be dangerous -- especially for people at high risk of heart disease," that study authors warned. In a written reply to WTHR, Fitbit said its devices "are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices," CNBC reported.

More Information

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

Attempted Suicide Rates, Risk Groups Mostly Unchanged

Attempted Suicide Rates, Risk Groups Mostly Unchanged

Men more often resort to violent means, while women turn to poisoning, drowning

New Visual Symptoms Not Uncommon After LASIK Surgery

New Visual Symptoms Not Uncommon After LASIK Surgery

But most patients report satisfaction with the procedure

Many With Postconcussion Syndrome Don't Recover

Many With Postconcussion Syndrome Don't Recover

Only 27 percent of population recovered; 67 percent of those who recovered did so in first year

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »